After ISIS seized the ancient town of Palmyra in central Syria, it was widely feared that the terrorists would destroy the Roman-era ruins. Now the Guardian is reporting that the terrorists have no plans to destroy the city’s archaeological treasures.
Islamic State has released new footage depicting unscathed ruins in the Syrian city of Palmyra, and activists say the group has promised to spare much of the ancient site and only destroy statues deemed polytheistic – raising hopes that some of the most magnificent surviving ruins of antiquity may remain intact.
Unfortunately, according to multiple reports today, they are instead putting the ruins to use.
Islamic State militants have executed 20 men at the ancient Roman Theater in the historic Syrian city of Palmyra, a group monitoring the conflict said Wednesday.
The men were shot after accusations of collaborating with the Syrian government, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
According to the AP, the militants actually gathered people into the theater to watch the gruesome proceedings.
Reuters reported that more than 400 soldiers and civilians — including women and children — have been killed by ISIS since they took control of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra.
“The terrorists have killed more than 400 people including women and children and mutilated their bodies, under the pretext that they cooperated with the government and did not follow orders,” Syria’s state news agency said, citing residents inside the city.
It added that dozens of those killed were state employees, including the head of the nursing department at the hospital and all her family members.
Islamic State supporters have posted videos on the Internet they say show fighters going room to room in government buildings, searching for government troops and pulling down pictures of President Bashar al-Assad and his father.
Activists have said on social media that hundreds of bodies, believed to be government loyalists, were in the streets.
On a brighter note, Voice of America reports that Kurdish YPG forces are continuing to make gains in Northern Syria, where they have taken control of the strategic town of al-Mabrouka and its surrounding areas.